April 2015


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Three thrill-seeking go-go dancers, Billie (Lori Williams), Rosie (Haji), and their leader, Varla (Tura Satana) encounter a young couple in the desert while racing their sports cars. After killing the boyfriend (Ray Barlow) with her bare hands, Varla drugs, binds, gags and kidnaps his girlfriend, Linda (Susan Bernard). On a desolate highway, the four stop at a gas station, where they see a wheelchair-bound old man (Stuart Lancaster) and his muscular, dimwitted son, Vegetable (Dennis Busch). The gas station attendant (Mickey Foxx) tells the women that the old man and his two sons live on a decrepit ranch with a hidden cache of money. Intrigued, Varla hatches a scheme to rob the lecherous old man…

“Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” is a 1965 cult classic exploitation film directed by Russ Meyer, who also wrote the script with Jack Moran. The film features gratuitous violence, sexuality, provocative gender roles, and camp dialogue. It is one of Meyer’s more boldly titled and unflinchingly exploitative films; however, there is no full on nudity. This movie has been on my list for a long time, and I reckon this is an odd, but yet intriguing movie. The mix of hard edged women in sports cars committing crimes with a frown and yet living out some sort of female liberation from the strains of society concerning how a woman should act and behave is striking. It´s over the top with dodgy acting, and as said a dialogue straight from a 5 dime pulp noir story, but yet the direction, storyline and black/white format creates something unique. A cult classic without no doubt. (3 and a half out of 5)

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A Spanish journalist, Roberto Torres (Dougray Scott), is trying to mend his relation with his dying father, Manolo Torres (Wes Bentley), who took part in the Spanish Civil War. Roberto discovers through his investigations that his father was a close childhood friend of Josemaría Escrivá (Charlie Cox), a candidate for sainthood, with whom he had a complicated relationship. Manolo became a soldier during the Spanish Civil War and became obsessed with a beautiful Hungarian revolutionary, Ildiko (Olga Kurylenko). She rejected him and gave herself to a brave militia leader named Oriol. Manolo became jealous and took a path of betrayal which he has suffered from his whole life. This event ultimately reveals the importance and timeless power of forgiveness for Manolo…

Roland Joffés “There Be Dragons” explores themes such as betrayal, forgiveness, friendship, and finding the meaning of life in everyday life during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. “Reconciliation matters” is the main take away message that Joffe expects from the viewers. Life, he said, is an opportunity to love: “It’s a choice, and in making that decision you become free. You do not become free when you hate. The weird thing is when you really love, you feel it like a breath of freedom, you think ‘Oh my God, I’ve chosen this, and it’s beautiful’.” He emphasized that Christianity is about love and the teaching of St. Josemaria “encourages a spiritual relationship with God in ‘very simple things’, in cooking a meal, being with one’s family, or even having a fight.” Joffé states that this is “a film about what it means to be a saint in this day and age.” The title refers to its theme exploring the unknown territories of hatred, guilt, and forgiveness, said the producer Ignacio G. Sancha. “There be dragons” is a shorter version of the phrase “here there be dragons” from the Latin hic sunt dracones, an ancient way of denoting in maps a place where there is danger, or an unknown place, a place to be explored. Roland Joffé has given us the fantastic “The Mission” and the equally great “The Killing Fields”, and therefore it pains me to see this overdramatised and theatrically overacted piece of film from the same man. With a great backdrop of the horrific Spanish Civil War, Joffé manages to transform “There Be Dragons” to an almost comiclike mish mash with sloppy direction and sloppy acting despite the fact that he obviously had a great budget. Sometimes you almost believe the movie has been dubbed as well… With an estimated budget of $36,000,000, during its opening weekend the film collected $705,537 at the US box office, compared to $1,251,124 in Spain, the film is considered a box office flop. Critics generally praised the film’s production values but panned Joffé’s screenplay and direction. I disliked this movie from scene one and nothing came to its rescue during the running time. I would love to see a proper historical movie in spanish focused on the Spanish Civil War. (2 out of 5)

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Based on a true story, “Beyond The Law” or “Fixing The Shadow” centers on Daniel “Dan” Saxon (Charlie Sheen), a cop with a troubled childhood. He is enlisted by Conroy Price, an agent in Arizona’s State Attorney General’s office, to go undercover to bust the illegal drugs and arms trafficking. Saxon is unsuccessful until he meets and befriends Virgil, a mechanic who introduces him to the seedy world of outlaw bikers. Virgil tutors Saxon on bikes and customs of the outlaw motorcycle brotherhood. After many lessons and a major change in appearance Saxon develops an alter ego named Sid and ends up infiltrating the outlaw motorcycle brotherhood The Jackals and earning the trust of Blood (Michael Madsen), the president. At the same time, he begins a relationship with a photojournalist, Renee Jason (Linda Fiorentino), who is aware of his dual life. As Saxon falls deeper into this world of crime, he becomes more unbalanced and the question is just how far ‘beyond the law’ will Saxon go?

“Beyond the Law” or “Fixing The Shadow” is a 1992 TV film, and well it does look like a tv film from several angles. I saw it when it came out and you have kind of forgotten that back then Charlie Sheen was an actor you would see anything with of some reason. The fact when looking back at his career makes you really realise that he has done some really shitty movies. And this is one of them. The acting is hardly up to scratch, the dramatisation is hardly up to scratch and with a Charlie Sheen in a beard/mullet looking high and out of it doesn´t exactly help the movie to some sort of believable level. Madsen does Madsen, no surprise there. But, the actual gem of the movie is the always stunning and great Linda Fiorentino. Had a crush on her for years, and I still do. To conclude “Beyond the Law” is hardly a must see, rather a don´t see. (2 and a half out of 5)

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